Rufus Wainright - Out Of The Game

23 May, 2012

By  Katerina Antonopoulou


I have a confession to make. Rufus Wainright is my imaginary best friend. My love for some of his songs is so severe that instead of a birthday song, I blew my candles while listening to "The One you Love". I admit that his previous album left me a bit numb and perplexed as to where he has heading at. But when I first saw the video clip of "Out of the Game", the first single from the album, starring Helena Bonham Carter, I was literally doing the chicken dance.


"Out of the Game" is the seventh studio album of Rufus and it was produced by Mr Mark Ronson. Also its one album with great guest musicians. Such as Rufus sister Martha Wainwright, drummer Andy Burrows, members of the Dap-Kings, Sean Lennon, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner. Which can mean only one thing. This is a 70's soul orchestral pop at its finest.


However as you can surely understand this is Wainright we are talking about. Therefore no matter how grandiose the melodies get, the cynical, blue feeling is still there. The songs still speak about broken hearts, the agony of survival and the grief of the soul.


"Out of the Game" is a great opener. It's smooth and alluring and it gradually builds up with the help of the souls singers in the chorus. It actually reminds me of Elton John, big hair, pink glasses, glitter pants and people dancing in the street. Make no mistake though. This is a song about yearning. A yearning which very lustfully is portrayed by the divine Carter in the video clip. "Jericho" is a funky ballad which speaks about hopes and the failure of reality meeting ones expectations.


"Rashida" offers sax, a little bit of sultry guitar, a few piano lines, the incredible backing vocals of soul queens and most importantly the voice of a sexy Rufus. "Barbara", (song tribute to one of the most important women in Wainright's life, his publicist, manager and friend Barbara Charone)walks in the same groovy path. But with the addition of synths and significantly longer, thus a bit tiring in the end.  


"Welcome to the ball" is one of my favorites lyrically speaking. Rufus sings "I will never be defeated. I will never come undone. I will never know the way it feels to be just anyone. I will never fall just as you all fall around me so. I will never know. I will never know. I will never be the one who tells you that I need you more. Nor will I have to be the one who's walking out the door. When the hour has struck you will receive. A note addressed from me. I will never be. Be the one you see. So baby welcome to the ball. Don't worry all about nothing at all. I don't know how you made it in
But since you have arrived. Let it begin.." and these cynic, tong in cheek, catchy lyrics along with the sax, the synths and the barely audible voices and applauding in the background make me feel feisty and mischievous.


"Montauk" is another favorite of mine from this album (perhaps because deep down I'm a hopeless romantic). A piano ballad dedicated to his newborn daughter Viva. Where with a haunted voice he simply speaks about his wish that in the future his daughter will visit him and "her other" dad in Montauk and will hopefully stay with them for a while. On the other hand "Respectable Dive" is a five minute slow tempo song which leaves you tired and somewhat melancholic.


"Perfect Man" is a masterpiece and a brilliant example of what Rufus is capable of. From the beginning he has you moving in the rhythm of the music and personally it reminds me a bit of "The one you love". It's the one song that leaves me wanting more.


In "Sometimes you need" Wainright with the help of a tremolo guitar and an acoustic guitar, reminds you that sometimes you just need fantasy and the gentle kindness from strangers in order to get by. While "Song of you" even though lyrically speaking is very empowering and Wainright's voice is quite impressive, it has a bit flat melody.


Last but not least "Candles" is one of the best piano ballads that I have heard lately. A seven minute long song, filled with emotion simply dedicated to his late mother Kate McGarrigle. A special song and a "must listen track" from "Out of the Game"


In the end, this is one of the best comeback albums I have heard. Obviously it has its ups and downs as anything else around us. But it is honest, pure, full of melodies and Wainright's unique voice. I really am so proud for my imaginary best friend, for everything he has overcome, the life he has built for himself and the music he has created that always makes me feel all tingly and warm inside.





Primary Genre: Pop


Subgenre: Pop Rock, Soul


Release Date: 1 May 2012


Label: Decca / Polydor


InfluencesLoudon Wainright, David Bowie, Elton John, Queen

Like This And You'll Probably Also LikeMartha Wainright, Leonard Cohen, Mark Ronson.

Album HighlightsOut of the GameMontauk, Candles, Welcome to the ball, Perfect Man












"Let me get back to you once I've given this a proper listen"




Contributor mini-profile

Katerina Antonopoulou

Katerina Antonopoulou

10 Fluffy Reviews
Remember what Dread Astaire used to sing: “Shit happens when you party naked”. It sounds disturbingly fun. Don’t you think?
Mini bio

She almost failed math in high school because instead of solving integrals she kept reading "Q" and "NME". Luckily she is somewhat intelligent and managed to get her degree from Uni. She now works her way towards becoming a broker, which would be relatively easy if it wasn't for the fact that her social skills are equal to those of Mr Bean.

Favourite Bands / Artists
The Kills
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The Libertines
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Frank Sinatra
The Dead Weather
The White Stripes
Depeche Mode